Cortland weighs future of town administrator position

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 5:30 a.m.CDT

CORTLAND – Cortland officials are considering the future of the town administrator position as the contract expires in April.

The town administrator position, held by Walter Magdziarz, was created three years ago to help with daily operations and keep elected officials updated on important changes to state laws and regulations that affect municipalities, said Town President Robert Seyller.

With the first four-year contract set to expire in April, Seyller said town trustees must decide whether to extend the contract, make the position a permanent town employee, eliminate it or establish new responsibilities and roles for what Seyller called a now-vital position. The contract expiration coincides with the end of the mayor’s term.

“I think it’s really important we do have someone in this position,” Seyller said. “We don’t have a full-time mayor, so it’s really important to have someone with the education and knowledge to handle these administrative tasks.”

After the first round of discussions, Seyller said town trustees seemed opposed to extending the contract and instead wanted to discuss possible changes to the position. He said it is a good time to discuss what has and has not worked and ways to improve the position after three years, but believed it needed to continue in some form.

The final decision, Seyller said, would come from the new body of elected officials after the April election. Seyller’s post along with three of the six trustee seats are open in April. Seyller said he will run again for mayor and was not sure if the trustees would seek reelection.

He said if there is little or no turnover on the town board, the discussions now would lead to a quick decision when the administrator’s contract expires. If there is a large turnover, he said the conversations will leave the new representatives with a framework when they decide what to do with the position.

“I’m not sure why a new mayor wouldn’t want the administrative help,” Seyller said.

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